Some Sectors Hiring New Employees Still

Amid mass layoffs and an unemployment rate that recently hit a three-year high, consumer goods and IT are among the sectors still looking for new hires, according to a survey released Thursday.

The poll, conducted in December by recruitment firm Antal among mostly Western corporations, found that only 15 percent of companies in the banking and finance sector are hiring at the managerial level.

But there are relative bright spots in the economy, with 64 percent of companies in the consumer goods sector looking for new managerial talent.

Another up-and-coming sector will be sales and marketing, the report said. Although only 45 percent of companies in the sector are currently hiring, 63 percent plan on hiring in the next quarter. For the beleaguered banking sector, the report predicts further gloom: 93 percent are currently cutting staff, and 84 percent say the cuts will continue into the next quarter.

Strong resurgences are also expected in the IT sector. Although 72 percent of companies in the sector are laying off employees now, 79 percent expect to hire in the next quarter, which suggests that they are looking to build more effective management teams, the report said.

"Large, Western IT vendors are treating the market very cautiously," Tremayne Elson, Antal's managing director, said in the report. "However, to take up the slack, many small and medium-sized companies in the IT sector are actually expanding."

The country's unemployment rate rose to 7.7 percent in December, the highest since November 2005, as industrial production shrank the most since the country's 1998 financial crisis, the State Statistics Service said Wednesday.

The number of people officially registered as unemployed may exceed 2.2 million by the end of this year, Deputy Health and Social Development Minister Maxim Topilin said Thursday, an increase from the ministry's earlier forecast of 2 million.